A young gymnastics coach from North Ayrshire has won a gong at a national sports award.

Alice Boucher has been recognised for her dedication to her sport, being named Young Coach of the Year at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering (COV) Awards 2023.

Formally a competitive gymnast, now turned adult and children’s gymnastics coach, where she is the Head of Acrobatics at Irvine Bay Gymnastics Club.

Throughout her week, Alice coaches a number of different children’s classes, as well as a drop-in adult’s class, where she provides tailored sessions allowing adults, who wouldn’t normally participate in recreational gymnastics, to reach their goals and build up their confidence.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Alice Boucher has won Young Coach of the Year at the awardsAlice Boucher has won Young Coach of the Year at the awards (Image: sportscotland)

Alice’s coaching approach is praised by many at her club, as coaching an adults class adds a level of complexity for any coach; however, Alice successfully assesses and addresses each person’s goals and capabilities; setting up progressions targeted for their current level.

She has coached many adults to achieve skills, build their confidence in their physical capabilities and increase their self-esteem.

At just 22, she is a Level 2 coach in TeamGym and Acro after graduating with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and completing a Sports Therapy certification, all while coaching at her club.

The young gymnast said: “I’ve been doing gymnastics since I was two years old, and unfortunately my career did end, and I really felt that I wanted to go into coaching.

"I wanted to give other children, other gymnasts the same experience that I had in gymnastics, which was such a positive and inspiring one.”

“My favourite part about coaching is seeing the enjoyment on my gymnasts faces.

"When I see them enjoying it and loving the sport as much as I did when I was training it’s such a rewarding feeling for me, and it really does feel like the best job ever.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News: The winners at the event in GlasgowThe winners at the event in Glasgow (Image: sportscotland)

The sportscotland COV Awards celebrate all those who break down barriers, inspire and enhance the lives of others through sport, and recognise the commitment of those who apply their own time and effort to make sport accessible to all.

Mel Young, Chair of sportscotland, said: “Every year the Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards provide us with the opportunity to celebrate people across the country who have given so much of their time and dedication to Scottish sport and are making such an impact on their sport and community.

“Over the course of the last year, we have seen thousands of sporting enthusiasts who give up hours and hours of their own daily lives, to make a difference in sport and physical activity and who have an understanding what an impact that can have on people’s lives.

"The people we are celebrating have taken that recognition and turned it into life-changing ambition and force for good.”

sportscotland received 371 nominations covering 35 different sports across all 32 local authorities. 

The COV winners were invited to attend a presentation ceremony at Glasgow City Chambers as a thank you for their continued work and dedication.